Today, roughly equal numbers of Americans say they strongly favor (22%) legalizing same-sex marriage as say they strongly oppose it (20%). By contrast, a decade earlier strong opponents (35%) outnumbered strong supporters (9%) by roughly a 4-to-1 ratio.
Few attributes are more important in structuring attitudes on same-sex marriage than age. Generally, there is an inverse relationship between support for same-sex marriage and increasing age, but the relationship is not uniformly linear. Among younger American adults, from those in their late teens to mid-forties, majorities support same-sex marriage, with the strength of support generally decreasing as age increases. For example, 74% of 20-year-olds support same-sex marriage, compared to 53% of 45-year-olds.
Record-High 60% of Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage
Not surprisingly, nearly nine in ten (88%) Americans who support same-sex marriage also support nondiscrimination laws that would protect LGBT people. Notably, same-sex marriage opponents are not uniformly opposed to nondiscrimination laws. Americans who oppose same-sex marriage are divided over nondiscrimination laws for LGBT people (49% favor, 45% oppose).
Bans in 3 States on Gay Marriage - The New York Times
The views of Republicans and Democrats on same-sex marriage are near mirror opposites. Roughly two-thirds (66%) of Democrats favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, while fewer than three in ten (27%) are opposed. Conversely, nearly six in ten (59%) Republicans oppose same-sex marriage, while about one-third (34%) support it. Political independents are closer to Democrats than Republicans on this issue: a majority (58%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Five Arguments for Gay Marriage 1
Political divisions on the issue of same-sex marriage have widened over time. The gap in support for same-sex marriage between Democrats and Republicans has increased from 21 percentage points in 2003 to 30 points today. In 2003, roughly 4-in-10 Democrats (39%) and political independents (39%) favored same-sex marriage, compared to 18% of Republicans. Currently, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Democrats and nearly 6-in-10 (57%) independents support same-sex marriage, compared to only 34% of Republicans. More than 6-in-10 (62%) Republicans oppose same-sex marriage.
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However, ideology impacts Republicans and Democrats alike on the issue of same-sex marriage. While about eight in ten (82%) liberal Democrats and roughly six in ten (61%) moderate Democrats support same-sex marriage, only about four in ten (41%) conservative Democrats say the same. Among Republicans, a majority of liberal (55%) and moderate (54%) Republicans favor same-sex marriage, compared to only one-quarter (25%) of conservative Republicans. Approximately seven in ten (68%) conservative Republicans oppose same-sex marriage.
the last time in public support for marriage equality ..
The correlation between age and support for same-sex marriage is also striking when comparing age cohorts. More than seven in ten (71%) young adults (age 18 to 29) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, compared to roughly four in ten (41%) seniors (age 65 and older). Notably, however, there is no age group in which a majority opposes same-sex marriage. Only half (50%) of seniors oppose same-sex marriage, although one in ten (10%) offer no opinion on the issue.